Tinners' building in Great Stannon Newtake, 810m north west of Stannon Tor


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019266

Date first listed: 24-Jan-2001


Ordnance survey map of Tinners' building in Great Stannon Newtake, 810m north west of Stannon Tor
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: West Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Dartmoor Forest

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 63924 81443


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Dartmoor is the largest expanse of open moorland in southern Britain and, because of exceptional conditions of preservation, it is also one of the most complete examples of an upland relict landscape in the whole country. The great wealth and diversity of archaeological remains provide direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the early prehistoric period onwards. The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, major land boundaries, trackways, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains, gives significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land use through time. Shelters are small rectangular or oval buildings which provided temporary accommodation for a variety of moorland workers. Some were occupied seasonally and formed habitation for months at a time, whilst others were only used during work hours as shelters from inclement weather. Some probably had more than a single function, with parts of the structure being utilised for storage. The shelters vary considerably in size, but on average have internal dimensions of 4.8m long by 2.7m wide, and whilst most were built of drystone walling, some were also constructed from turf. Most shelters have a visible doorway, whilst some have fireplaces, cupboards and benches. A single building tradition appears to have been used by the different groups of workers who constructed shelters. Many shelters were constructed on virgin sites, but a significant number were built within earlier ruined structures such as prehistoric stone hut circles and medieval long houses. The function of each shelter can generally be ascertained by its proximity to other archaeological features. Shelters found within or close to tin works are generally considered to have been built and occupied by tinners, whilst those close to peat cutting earthworks were probably used by peat cutters. Shelters are also found close to stone cutting pits, quarries, and leats. In some circumstances a single building may have been used at different times by more than one group of workers. Shelters found on the open moorland, with no other obvious clues as to their function, are probably huts built for herdsmen tending animals grazing summer pasture on the uplands. These particular huts reflect a system called transhumance, whereby stock was moved in spring from lowland pastures to communal upland grazing during the warmer winter months. Settlement patterns reflecting transhumance are known from the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC) onwards. At least 400 shelters of various dates survive on the Moor, although it is expected that this number will increase with future recognition. Shelters are relatively common on the Moor and together as a group they are considered to form a major source of archaeological information concerning historic activity on the open moorland and, as such, a substantial proportion are considered worthy of protection.

The tinners' building in Great Stannon Newtake, 810m north west of Stannon Tor survives very well and contains both environmental and structural information. This building is amongst the most visually impressive of the beehive huts on the Moor.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes a tinners' building, known as a beehive hut, situated in the valley bottom of the Lade Hill Brook. The term beehive hut derives from the form of the building which is igloo shaped and defined by corbelled drystone walling. The interior of the building measures 2.7m long by 2m wide and the corbelled wall is 0.8m wide and up to 1.2m high. The entrance faces WSW and is 0.6m wide. The hut is built within a disused streamwork tye and it is presumed that it was constructed by tinners, perhaps for storage purposes and as a shelter.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 28761

Legacy System: RSM


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SW28, (1995)

End of official listing